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Kroos leads Germany midfield trio on shortlist for FIFA FIFPro World XI selection

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ZURICH — Germany trio Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger are among 15 nominees for the three-man midfield in the 2014 FIFA FIFPro World XI.

The World Cup winners are joined by four candidates from Spain: Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.

The 15 shortlisted midfielders were chosen by professional players in a poll organized by FIFPro, the international group of players' unions which has more than 65,000 members.

Five of the 15 played for Champions League winner Real Madrid this year, including Angel Di Maria, now with Manchester United, and Luka Modric.

Di Maria of Argentina, new Madrid recruit James Rodriguez of Colombia, and Arturo Vidal of Chile are the only South Americans nominated.

PHOTO: Schalke's Kevin-Prince Boateng, right, and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, left, challenge for the ball during the Champions League group G soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Chelsea in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Schalke's Kevin-Prince Boateng, right, and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, left, challenge for the ball during the Champions League group G soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Chelsea in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Yaya Toure of Ivory Coast is the only African.

No Asian player made the shortlist.

Vidal joins Juventus teammates Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba on the list.

The World XI will be named at FIFA's Ballon d'Or ceremony on Jan. 12 in Zurich.


FIFA FIFPro World XI nominated midfielders:

Xabi Alonso (Spain, Bayern Munich); Angel Di Maria (Argentina, Manchester United); Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Chelsea); Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea); Xavi Hernandez (Spain, Barcelona); Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona); Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid); Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid); Mesut Ozil (Germany, Arsenal); Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus); Paul Pogba (France, Juventus); James Rodriguez (Colombia, Real Madrid); Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich); Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast, Manchester City); Arturo Vidal (Chile, Juventus).

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PHOTO: Schalke's Kevin-Prince Boateng, right, and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, left, challenge for the ball during the Champions League group G soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Chelsea in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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